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Child Dev. 2011 Nov-Dec;82(6):2021-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01644.x. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Gene-environment processes linking aggression, peer victimization, and the teacher-child relationship.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada. brendgen.mara@uqam.ca

Abstract

Aggressive behavior in middle childhood is at least partly explained by genetic factors. Nevertheless, estimations of simple effects ignore possible gene-environment interactions (G × E) or gene-environment correlations (rGE) in the etiology of aggression. The present study aimed to simultaneously test for G × E and rGE processes between aggression, on the one hand, and peer victimization and the teacher-child relationship in school, on the other hand. The sample comprised 124 MZ pairs and 93 DZ pairs assessed in Grade 1 (mean age = 84.7 months). Consistent with rGE, children with a presumed genetic disposition for aggression were at an increased risk of peer victimization, whereas in line with G × E, a positive relationship with the teacher mitigated the genetically mediated expression of aggression.

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